As a college staff we are continuing to go through the book, They Like Jesus But Not the Church. As previously posted, I highly recommend the book. This week we read a chapter where Dan Kimball interviews people and asks them what they think about Jesus. Some of the adjectives they used to describe him were: powerful, good teacher, moral, loving, beautiful, etc. I read the comments that most of these people made and I thought that I could easily be listening to someone who was a follower (and a strong follower at that) of Jesus Christ. Yet, non of the people professed to be Christians.
They Like Jesus 2
I have to ask the question… why not? If Jesus is that captivating to people, why aren’t they followers? I think that the people Kimball chose to interview represent a pretty accurate view of people’s perceptions of Jesus. I hear many of the same responses when out am out on the local campuses. So the question ruminates in me. Honestly, I don’t have an answer. I know that Kimball’s conclusion is that they are turned off by the church. I’m not sure that I buy that as the sole reason… especially since most of their conclusions about church seem to be drawn from television evangelists. This is a question that I will be thinking about for a while.
One of the reasons that come to mind is that it is easy to look upon someone or something and find it attractive or beautiful, yet not be willing to pay the price to have the thing. I think that people realize the beauty of Jesus, yet they also recognize (maybe more fully) what it demands to follow him. I think its the same thing that happened to the rich young man (Luke 18). He had seen the glory of Jesus, yet he was unwilling to forsake all to follow.
Whatever the reason, I am once again encouraged that people are far more open to Jesus than I give them credit for.